Monday, August 09, 2010

Treasure found in the Clean Out

I've been engaged in one of those major cleanouts most of us do periodically - closets, cabinets, desks, etc. Yesterday I found a treasure among the papers I had piled up to do something with someday. Usually those piles all end up in the trash because by the time I go through them, I've lost interest or time has made them irrelevant. However, this time I found an article describing how to make major changes in one's self or one's life by using brain functions.

According to the article, by using ritual several times a day - it doesn't really matter what - to support the changes you want to make, your brain will automatically go to work on helping you make those changes. These rituals make memories that gradually change you into a new person, so to speak. Rituals could consist of just stopping and spending a few minutes thinking about the changes you want to make.

The article outlines six elements that need to go into the work: 1) Do the rituals frequently - three to five times a day. 2) Use meditation to support the changes - by quieting the "to-do" mind and getting in touch with the quieter part of the mind, one's "higher self" can surface. This part of the "self" is the part that will support the changes we want to make. 3) Create a model for the self you want to create. This could be based on someone you admire or just on how you want to be. 4) Cultivate the "witness." All of us have a part of ourselves that observes our thoughts and behaviors. Some people call this the conscience. Some call it an inner guide. To make changes, we need to be in touch with this part of ourselves so that we can mnitor whether our thoughts and behaviors are in alignment with the changes we want to make and make adjustments as we go along. 5) Choose a motivational feelling. This would be an emotion that you've had in the past that supported you in making changes. Remember that feeling and develop ways to evoke that feeling in yourself. Maybe there are pictures or objects that evoke that feeling. Maybe a piece of jewelry. Fragrance is another powerful way to evoke feeling. Maybe a particular scent would help you get into that feeling. 6) Choose some new behaviors to engage in that will support the changes you want to make. Make a list of at least three things you could do that you've never done before that would support the changes you want to make. Do the easiest one first when the time is right. Then work your way through the list to the most difficult one.

Here's an example of a ritual that incorporates all of the six elements for change:
Begin with a short period of meditation so that your higher self to come to the surface. Then evoke the feelilng state you chose for motivating your changes. Let the feeling grow and allow it to adjust your body and facial expression. Then bring to mind the self you want to become and focus on each of the values and characteristics you want. This can be a very brief practice.

In between times, remain in touch with your witness as much as possible and when making decisions, ask yourself what your new self would do. When you catch yourself doing or saying something that is not in alignment with your new self, stop for a moment and do a mini-ritual to shift back.

Cultivate environments that support the changes you want to make. You might want to create a sacred space in your home or even make your entire home a sacred space. Look for places that inspire you in your geographical area - nature or beautiful buildings. Even more important, cultivate a supportive social environment. Surround yourself with people who support the changes you are making.

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